Medical and health services managers, also called healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services. They might manage an entire facility or specialize in managing a specific clinical area or department, or manage a medical practice for a group of physicians. Medical and health services managers must be able to adapt to changes in healthcare laws, regulations, and technology.
There are options available to enter this field which is primarily a business oriented degree than a health/medical program. Here are some of the degree paths to consider:
Associates Degree– An associate degree is a post-secondary degree awarded to students who have completed an associate degree program. Most associate degrees can be earned within two years, though there are some programs that can be completed in as little as one year. The degree program in health care management typically focuses more on general education courses but will also include several classes devoted specifically to health care management. These programs usually take two years to complete. After earning an associate degree, you could seek entry-level employment in the health care management field or go on to pursue a bachelor degree in health care management or a related area.
A sampling of courses at the associates level are:
- Mathematics for Business and Finance
- Medical Terminology
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Basic Accounting
- Human resources Management
- Supervision and Leadership
Bachelor’s Degree– This obviously involves more expense and time to complete than the associate’s degree, however, it will serve the job applicant better in the form of more opportunities and higher salary. A typical bachelor’s curriculum involves:
- Introduction to Biology
- Concepts and Applications of Information Technology
- Intro to Physical Sciences
- Advanced Business Writing
- Health Care Financial Management
- Law and Ethical Issues in Health Care
- Research and Data Analysis in Health Care
Bryant and Stratton College, an online school, offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Services Administration. The central focus of their program is to provide a comprehensive base in health-related knowledge and concepts and as well as the management of health services and facilities, with emphases on finance, legal aspects in healthcare, disaster planning and management, and information systems. The BS in Health Services Administration program prepares students to excel in decision-making skills, critical thinking, and small group communications. Research opportunities and field experiences offer students insight into real-world applications of the information and skills they learn in class and help students prepare to successfully transition into a health care administration or management career.
Master’s Degree– Universities, such as the University of Michigan, offer a Masters of Health Services Administration (MHSA). This program focuses on the organization, financing, marketing, and management of health care institutions and the delivery of personal health services in the United States. Many of the core competencies of the M.H.S.A. degree are modeled after a general business administration curriculum. The program prepares students for management careers in the unique environment of health care, including careers in health systems, hospital, clinic, and emergency services management. The MHSA degree is also appropriate for those seeking positions as planners, policy analysts, or consultants focusing on the financing, organization, quality and delivery of personal health services in either the public or the private sector.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Medical and Health Services Managers have a median income of $88,580 with a Bachelor’s degree. The job growth is expected to be 23% through 2022 or a change/addition of 73,300 jobs.